Nocturnal polyuria… It sounds frightening but all it really is, is getting up at night to visit the toilet after you’ve gone to bed.
There are lots of reasons that might happen, and plenty of ways to get it under control… and no matter what your doctor tells you, you don’t need the new prescription drug Nocdurna to curb your nocturnal polyuria.
Nocturnal polyuria… we all do it
Nocdurna is a “new” drug made from an old generic one called desmopressin. It’s been around for quite some time to treat some very serious diseases, like a rare kind of diabetes, haemophilia, and other types of bleeding disorders.
However, researchers noticed that people who were being treated with desmopressin for these critical conditions weren’t peeing as much. Could they have stumbled on a “new” drug worth billions?
The bigwigs at Ferring Pharmaceuticals certainly heard that “kerrrching” sound and before you know it we have Nocdurna.
Nocdurna is so risky that, twice already, the American Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory committee gave it a big thumbs down, concluding that the benefits of Nocdurna didn’t outweigh its risks.
However, by now our regular readers know how these things work: the FDA will probably ignore its own advisory committee’s advice, making it more than likely that this very dangerous drug will soon hit the market.
Here’s why you should avoid this drug:
Nocdurna works by restricting the amount of water eliminated in your urine, it’s called an “antidiuretic.”
This can be very dangerous because it can cause the sodium levels in your body to become very low by dilution… and those extremely low sodium levels can cause life-threatening seizures.
The condition becomes even more likely if you have an electrolyte imbalance caused by an illness, vomiting, diarrhoea, or are even drinking extra water because of heat or exercise.
The generic version of this drug has been around for a while now. In fact, eight years ago the FDA even issued a warning about those deadly low-sodium levels caused by desmopressin, noting that there were over 60 reports of seizures, which caused two people to die after taking it.
The agency warned doctors to be very cautious when prescribing the drug, and told them what they needed to look out for. It also told them to advise patients against drinking too much water and what to do if they got a cold or stomach bug.
Certainly, having to “go” after you hit the sack is no way to get a decent night’s sleep. But there are ways to get that under control without resorting to a risky drug like Nocdurna.
First, you need to find out why you suffer with nocturnal polyuria. The most obvious place to look (for men) is the prostate. An enlarged prostate can put extra pressure on your bladder. But your prostate isn’t the only culprit.
Excessive urination can be one of the first signs of diabetes. In diabetes your kidneys are already working overtime, so you certainly don’t want to put more strain on them.
Sleep apnoea is a common reason for getting up to use the bathroom during the night. It seems that when you strain to breathe while asleep, your heart can start producing a hormone that increases urine production.
How much do you drink after dinner? Especially if that meal was a salty one, drinking large amounts of liquids before bedtime will get you up during the night.
Are you taking a blood pressure drug that’s making you go at night? Many of these drugs contain diuretics that, of course, increase urine production. Taking these drugs in the morning can easily fix that.
As we age, our bladders don’t hold as much as they used to. For many it’s not a disease needing a drug, but merely a natural part of getting older.
For an enlarged prostate, several natural remedies are considered to be very helpful, including horsetail, nettle root and saw palmetto…
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“FDA advisers unimpressed by Nocdurna” Shannon Firth, January 13, 2015, Medpage Today, medpagetoday.com
“New York state may be first to outlaw declawing of all cats” Nicole Pelletiere, January 15, 2015, ABC News, abcnews.go.com